Friday, May 4, 2012

Feature Friday: Interview with Dana Michelle Burnett

Today we have Dana Michelle Burnett here with us to talk about her new book, Haunted. Everyone, please welcome Dana...

In your book, Alastor Sinclair is a ghost from the Civil War-era. Is his character modeled after a real-life Civil War soldier or is he completely your creation?  He is completely my own creation.  While I was dreaming him up and researching the Civil War, I was always looking at pictures of the soldiers from both sides.  It didn't matter which side they fought on, they all had this same intense look and in those old photographs, blue eyes look almost white and really draw your eye.  I think if there is anything about those pictures that stuck in my head, it was those eyes, so of course, my fictional soldier had to have those same eyes and intense look.

While Spiritus was narrated solely from Becca’s point of view, parts of the story are told from the point of view of a new character. What made you decide to write the story of Haunted from the perspectives of two different characters?  For Haunted, I really felt that the story of Becca and Alastor needed an outside observer to push it forward.  It's one thing to read about Alastor coming to Becca, but what does it look like from the outside?  I wanted the reader to experience that mystery and see the effect this relationship has had on Becca from the outside as well.

Why did you choose to add the element of voo doo to the story of Haunted?  I've always loved the idea of voodoo and New Orleans.  It's all so mysterious and romantic at the same time that I couldn't resist putting it in the story.

What inspired you to write such a ghostly series?  The old houses of Corydon were my inspiration.  I have to drive through Corydon to go to the grocery, so I'd see those old houses and wonder who used to live there, bit by bit the story took shape.

Becca’s struggle to keep a strong grip on her sanity in Haunted is something that I didn’t expect to encounter, especially after I read Spiritus. What made you decide to turn the story in that particular direction?  How could you have a relationship with a ghost and not go a little crazy? 

Your descriptions of Alastor as a ghost are incredibly vivid and make the reader feel as if he is real. Do you find it difficult to write such striking descriptions?  Not at all.  Alastor was easy to write for because he is so dashing and teasing.  It was really easy to picture how he would move and react.  I consider him to be almost a force of nature and I guess that's why I compare him to thunder or clouds so often.

What motivated you to create a character like Becca?  Becca seemed a perfect match for Alastor.  I couldn't really picture one without the other.  There might even be a little bit of myself in her as well.

Becca is Alastor’s wife from over a century ago. Why did you decide to include the aspect of reincarnation in both Spiritus and Haunted? I loved the idea of a ghost coming back for a lost love, but that had been done again and again.  I was waiting for my daughter one day at her dance class and heard the term "old soul" in a conversation.  I began to think more about my Alastor and Becca, why couldn't he come back because she is his wife reincarnated, but then why wasn't he reincarnated?  That's when I came up with the twists and turns in their relationship.

It’s very obvious that Becca and Alastor share a love that surpasses the span of time. Do you think a happy ending is possible for them?  It won't be your typical happy ending, but yes, there will be a happy ending for them in the next book.

Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with us today, Dana! I hope you all enjoyed that interview. Be sure to pick up a copy of Dana's Haunted, too. Click here to see our review of the book.

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